“I will write a poem about this.”

Photo Credit: Cemre Paksoy

“I will write a poem about this.”

The funny thing is that I keep saying “I will write a poem about this,” over and over again and I

never keep my promise to myself until I write a poem about how I keep saying “I will write a poem

about this,” and never keep my promise to myself. It is complicated like that, but also that simple.

*

I don’t want to leave my room because it is a much comfortable lonely than that I am outside of

these beige walls. It hurts when you are surrounded by people and you are still lonely and you want

to scream, “why aren’t you more like me?” but you can’t because you are still in your room, lonely. I

step outside because I need to eat goddammit and I stare at the grass and think, “are you as lonely as

I am?” and I feel my phone buzz in my back pocket. I read the text from my mom, out loud because

nobody’s listening anyway: “The war is moving closer. I love you.” I keep staring at the grass but it

is not as lonely anymore because it is surrounded by pieces of grass just like itself. My mom is lonely

without me, and my dad is lonely, and my brother is lonely without me but no, not the grass. I wish

the grass stretched as far as home so that I could walk there and it would keep me company. This

feeling hurts my chest and I think, “I will write a poem about this.” I never do.

*

This is a tingling like I never felt before because it is a happier tingling than any that I felt before, as

I rise to my tippy toes to kiss your forehead, right on the spot where your hair starts growing but I

can only reach your right eye and that’ll do. I keep thinking I don’t care, I’ll miss my first class, I

only care about this tingling. I smell your neck and why have I never done that before? The tingling

responds, because you’re a coward and I shush it as I take a breath so deep your smell will still be there

when I wake up and can’t smell your neck any more because I’m a coward. War makes cowards of us

all. I wake up much as I don’t want to and a smell is still there and I wonder whose smell it is,

because this is the second time but when was the first? I think, “I will write a poem about this.” I

never do.

*

My head is on my mom’s lap and there are tears and my grandpa is not responsive and my feet are

numb from not moving for so long but I don’t know what to say other than “I wasn’t there. I wasn’t

there.” As I mumble this over and over my mom can’t find a response and I see my dad crying for

the first time. My dad doesn’t cry. Maybe he’s just joking and maybe this is all just a dream but this

time I really wish I could wake up and I don’t take deep breaths to make sure I don’t remember any

smell, sound, or feeling when I do wake up. My grandma used to call me her princess and I would get

annoyed because monarchy sucks but I want nothing more than to hear her say that again so that for

once I can smile and make her happy. My feet are numb. I wasn’t there when it happened. I have

never seen a dead body. I imagine her dead body and think, “I will write a poem about this.” I never

do.

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